The Minister for Health and Social Services, Eluned Morgan, officially opened the Welsh Ambulance Service’s new station in Cardiff yesterday.
The £8 million Welsh Government-funded facility in Pontprennau is the new home of both emergency and non-emergency crews, previously based at the Blackweir station.
The Cycle Response Unit is also based in the new facility, which includes a ‘Make Ready Depot’ where dedicated Fleet Assistants clean and re-stock vehicles, enabling clinicians to spend more time serving patients in the community.
Cardiff’s Healthy Travel Charter has been central to the design of the station, which has electric vehicle charging points, cycle storage, bat boxes and a rainwater harvesting system, which enables water to be re-used for vehicle cleaning.
The Minister also visited the station’s new immersive training room, where simulation technology will recreate real-life scenarios to put students’ skills to the test.
The new station is part of a programme of work to modernise the Welsh Ambulance Service’s estate.
Eluned Morgan said:
I am delighted to officially open Cardiff’s new ambulance station, providing crews with the base they deserve. The state-of-the art facilities will increase the time crews can spend with sick or injured people, as well as excellent training facilities for new and current staff.
Alongside the £3m we’re investing to recruit around 100 additional frontline staff and introduce a new ‘Cymru High Acuity Response Unit’ (CHARU) service, our new ambulance infrastructure will provide a range of benefits to our ambulance staff and the communities they serve.
Chris Willis, the Welsh Ambulance Service’s Locality Manager for Cardiff, said:
This project has been many years in the pipeline so we’re thrilled that it’s operational. We have fond memories of our time at Blackweir station, but the building was of its time and no longer fit-for-purpose.
This is a 21st century ambulance station to be proud of, and it means that crews finally get the facilities they deserve, which ultimately means a better service for people in Cardiff.
The Make Ready Depot in particular is a huge advance and not only frees up crews to spend more time in the community but also improves infection control, which is more important than ever.
Chris Turley, the Trust’s Executive Director of Finance and Corporate Resources, added:
One of our key priorities as an organisation is to ensure our people have access to facilities that are safe, well maintained and fit-for-purpose and which allow them to serve communities to the best of their ability.
We’re grateful to Welsh Government for their investment in this project.